DPRK, South Korea reach deal on Kaesong Industrial Zone

DPRK, South Korea reach deal on Kaesong Industrial Zone
# 15 August 2013 02:28 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and South Korea reached an agreement on Kaesong Industrial Zone (KIZ) on Wednesday, the official KCNA news agency reported, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

According to the joint statement released by KCNA, Pyongyang and Seoul agreed to set up "Inter-Korean Joint Committee on the Kaesong Complex" to discuss compensation for damages inflicted on companies during the suspension of the KIZ, after their seventh round of working-level talks.

Both sides also agreed to guarantee security of personnel and vehicles to and from Kaesong and the investment property there. "We will try our best to develop the KIZ into an international and competitive area," the statement said.

To resume the normal operations in the KIZ, the two parties will sign an "Agreement on the formation and operation of the Inter-Korean Joint Committee on the KIZ" at an early date, the statement added.

The five-point agreement will help ease the tension of inter-Korean relations ahead of the South Korea-U.S. joint military drill on Aug. 19.

Operations of 123 South Korean companies in the KIZ have been suspended for four months since Pyongyang pulled out 53,000 workers from the industrial zone in April.

Six rounds of talks have been held on reopening the Kaesong complex since June with Seoul urging Pyongyang to avoid recurrence of the factory park's shutdown.

Launched in late 2004, the inter-Korean industrial zone, which was jointly managed by South Korea and the DPRK, was seen as one of the key symbols of economic cooperation between the two countries.

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